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British Model Spot Checks Could Begin in '08

Spot checks to enforce some of the British Fashion Council's Model Health Inquiry recommendations could be under way at London Fashion Week by the fall 2008 shows, which begin Feb. 15.

Spot checks to enforce some of the British Fashion Council's Model Health Inquiry recommendations could be under way at London Fashion Week by the fall 2008 shows, which begin Feb. 15.

The BFC plans to appoint auditors at London Fashion Week — whom the organization hopes to employ by February — to monitor that models aren't under 16 and that show venues are free of drugs. Since London's spring shows in September, the BFC has asked designers to sign contracts to guarantee that they won't use models under 16.
"An independent auditor will be employed to carry out spot checks at 10 percent of shows on the official show schedule, and take action to tackle any examples of contract breaking," the BFC said in a report Friday, which addressed the implementation of the recommendations in September's Model Health Inquiry study. The organization added that the auditor could prevent designers who "flagrantly breach the age rule" from participating in London Fashion Week.

The inquiry was set up by the BFC in March after a ban on models with a body mass index of less than 18 was imposed by Madrid Fashion Week, and recommendations on improving model health were made by the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana in Milan and the Council of Fashion Designers of America in New York. The Model Health Inquiry's panel members include designer Giles Deacon, model agent Sarah Doukas and physician Adrienne Key, clinical director of the Eating Disorders Unit at London's Priory Hospital.

The BFC said in the report that it also hopes to launch a pilot program to introduce health certificates for models at London shows by September 2008. BFC chief executive officer Hilary Riva met with the CFDA and the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana in Milan to discuss developing an international code of conduct for model health. "The BFC strongly believes that an effective medical certification scheme will require the support of all the major centers," the organization said.

In addition, the BFC said it had written to the British Society of Magazine Editors, the Periodical Publishers Association and the Advertising Association in the U.K. to suggest "a voluntary code covering the use of digital manipulation [in photography]."

"Criticism of digitally enhanced body images, and the part [they] play in perpetuating an unachievable aesthetic was raised during the inquiry," the organization said.
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